Tokena Te Kerehi


Ngāti Turamakina, Ngāti Tuwharetoa (18? - 1904)

Iwi map - Tokena Te KerehiIWI / HAPU AFFILIATIONS

Tokena Te Kerehi was a rangatira of Ngāti Turamakina. His mother was Tokotoko and his father was Herea. Herea lived in the fortified Waitahanui, at the mouth of the Tongariro River. He ruled wisely over Ngāti Tuwharetoa for many years.

Tokena Te Kerehi was the younger brother of Te Heuheu Tukino II (Mananui), who was killed in the great landslide at Te Rapa, Tokaanu in 1846. The natural disaster struck on 7 May and Mananui was killed by a landslide which swept down Kakaramea mountain after heavy rain that overwhelmed Te Rapa. Tokena Te Kerehi survived the event.1

The name Te Heuheu was given to Mananui, Herea's eldest son and his first wife, Rangiaho. Herea himself, after becoming paramount leader, was widely known as Rangimaheuheu, which became Te Heuheu. From that time on the name has been given to the oldest in the family's male line in each generation. Herea died at Waitahanui probably in the early 1820s.2

Te Kerehi died in 1904 at Waihi near Tokaanu reputedly aged over 90 years old.3 This portrait was painted in 1903.


  1. Elizabeth Hura, 'Te Heuheu Tukino II, Mananui ? - 1846', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 22 June 2007, accessed 30 March 2010.
  2. Elizabeth Hura, 'Te Heuheu Tukino II, Mananui ? - 1846', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 22 June 2007, accessed 30 March 2010.
  3. ‘News items’, Colonist, vol XLIV, issue 10137, 27 June 1901, p 4, Papers Past, accessed 2 March 2010.
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    Contributed story - Tokena Te Kerehi contributed by Ariana Ngaruhe on 26 July 2012

    He was sitting in a box outside the Salvation Army store when my mother-in-law noticed him and asked to take the portrait home. It was then given to me eight years ago. I am glad that because of this website, I now know Tokena is his ingoa. Thank you.

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Pito korero about Latest comments about Tokena Te Kerehi

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  • seann - Tuwharetoa/Waewae/Kurauia

    At 12pm on 30 March 2015

    Kia ora, my grandfather was Parati Paurini, his dad was Hiwawa and mum, Maora. I've just did a google search for Papakore Te Heuheu's name and this came up. Wow. Kia ora whanau!! I love discovering things about us!

  • Mary Te Uira Taewa - Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngapuhi, Ngati Pukenga ki Manaia me Tauranga / Kurauia, Turumakina, Te Hikutu

    At 4pm on 14 November 2014

    Kia ora, I am a descendant of Tokena Te Kerehi. His second son Mariu was married to Tarihira and they had many children, one of them being my grandmother Herena Awetoroa Mariu who married my Koro Tupu Paurini of Tokaanu.My mother Parehuia Irihapeti Hauauru Tupu Paurini was their youngest of 5 that I know of but Mum was given as a whangai to her Aunt, Rihi Te Heuheu, an older sister of Te Heuheu Tukino Hoani VI, and Hikarahui Hemopo ( her 2nd husband) from birth. Mum married Dad Louis Te Kouorehua Kereopa ( Paetau) from Ngapuhi and had 9 of us. I am their 5th child. I am married to Jacob Delautor Taewa of Ngati Porou and to date we have 7 adult tamariki, 16 grandchildren and 4 great grand children. We live in Turangi.

  • Anonymous

    At 5am on 11 October 2014

    Kerehi was not the eldest child of his father Herea. Tokotoko (Mother to Kerehi and Herea's 2nd wife) was the youger 1st cousin of Rangiaho(Mother to Mananui and Herea's 1st wife). Both women were of Ngaati Parekaawa descent. Kerehi was still a very active man when his nephew Te Heuheu Horonuku took to his role as Chief. Kerehi was ever a staunch supporter of his nephew Horonuku and the legacy of Te Heuheu. A theme largely continued in the majority of his descendants. Kerehi was very lucky to survive the landslide at Te Rapa which claimed the life of his older brother Mananui. He went on to lead a full life as can be seen by his age in this portrait. Kerehi had two sons. Firstborn was Hoko Patena, then his younger brother Mariu. Hoko Patena had three children. Maraea (f), Te Puea (f), and Joe Hoko (m). Hoko's descendants can be found still in Waihi Village, Lake Taupo where Kerehi lived.

  • Donna Hawthorne - Ngati Rangatihi

    At 9pm on 26 September 2013

    I would like to know which tribe this man is from as I have a painting of him here in my house that was passed to me by my father in law who found it behind a desk in his office in palmerston north. the artist is 'H.J Hickey' and was done in 1976 and is done in we think pastels. He has protected my home for many years but I feel he belongs at home with his whanau.

  • Jo Chambers

    At 6pm on 15 October 2012

    I have come across a copy of this painting and another in Australia, but framed in the US. Can you tell me approximately how many copies there are of this please? I have it on my wall now and it looks fantastic.

  • Merle Ormsby - TeMataapuna o Ngati Tuwharetoa

    At 10pm on 18 August 2012

    Our great grandfather is Mariu son of Tokena te Kerehi Te Kehakeha. Mariu and Tarihias oldest chid is Te Ngoi Patena Mariu who had Te Taawhi Patena Mariu (dad) I was made aware very early in my life that our tupuna Herea was already in a relationship with Tokotoko when his first wife, mother of Mananui Iwikau and other sibblings was betrothed, that infact Tokena was the first born to Herea, apparently the dysfunctional relationship between our Dad and uncle Hepi was a revelation of their past which wasn't pleasant. I thank and have the greatest love and respect for our uncle and dad, even more for their wives, aunty Pauline and our mum, who tried to set us (their kids) on a path where we can develop our lwn relationships. I was told Tokena was the only servivor of the landslide at TeRapa above the Waihi Village, I was also told it was Tokena who rang the bell for a Catholic service.

  • Katarina Daly - Tuwharetoa/Ngati Rangi/Te Ati Hau/Maniapoto/Raukawa/Te Arawa/Ngai Tahu

    At 8pm on 11 November 2011

    Kia ora. This is my tupuna, his name is also Kerehi Te Heuheu or Tokena Te Kehakeha. He had a son named Mariu Kerehi Te Heuheu, who had a son named Patena Mariu Kerehi Te Heuheu (eldest child) (also known as Patena Te Ngoi), who had a daughter Kataraina Patena Mariu (eldest child), then my nan Beatrice Marshall, then my mum Sonya Daly, then ME :) Nga Mihi kia koutou te whanau

  • Jamie Nepia - Te Iwi Morehu/Tuwharetoa/Te Whakatohea

    At 4pm on 8 March 2011

    kia ora thank you i have found a tipuna of mine thanks to this website nga mihi

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